My Android experience after five years of iPhones - CNET Asia Blogs: HK Tech Phooey

My Android experience after five years of iPhones - CNET Asia Blogs: HK Tech Phooey

My Android experience after five years of iPhones

When the iPhone first launched back in June 2007, I was one of those who embarked on the iOS dream for a super smartphone. Five years on and I'm using my sixth iPhone--iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS (lost one and replaced with another), iPhone 4 and now the iPhone 4S. However, the dream I pursued is no longer the same anymore since Android phones hit 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich or ICS). That was when I started carrying around an extra Android phone, the Samsung Galaxy Note. (I actually bought my first Galaxy Note back in December 2011, but hated Gingerbread (Android 2.3) and eventually sold it off. Tried it out again after ICS became available on the Galaxy Note and I've loved it ever since.

I still use the iPhone for my daily calls, audio podcasts, WhatsApp and other messaging and music listening but I tend to do more work like email, watching video podcasts, reading books off Kindle and using Flipboard on the Note.

2012 is truly the year for Android phones to shine. Manufacturers such as Samsung and HTC have rolled out a new generation of Android phones not only with (much) larger displays, but with incredible horsepower, true multitasking, very friendly user-oriented interface and tons of other tweaking options.

The edge Apple used to have with the iPhone is slowly evaporating into thin air. One would always say that Apple has more apps made for its iOS devices. This is true in a way, but with the growing trend of Android devices, that gap is quickly closing. So what edge does Apple still have over the Android devices? Let's take a minute to think about it.

First, the camera. iPhone 4S still has the best camera among smartphones, but with the latest Galaxy S3 and HTC One X and more to come, I don't know how much longer the iPhone can hold on.

Next, Retina display. True it looks gorgeous, but watching a full-length HD movie on the small screen gets tiring. That's where Android hits hard. The much larger displays on Android devices give users much more screen estate and that comes in handy when reading an e-book, playing games, reading and composing email/messages. What I love most is the Flipboard experience on my Galaxy Note--the app just blows the competition away with a screen that size.

Okay, so what's next? Form factor. True, the iPhone is much smaller compared with most Android phones these days but would I be willing to trade that in for all the extras an Android phone can offer? YES.

And that is pretty much all I can come up with. Leave a comment if you think otherwise.

For me, I definitely think Android phones will soon level up with the iPhones. Especially with its great notification system--unless Apple can step it up in iOS 6. For me or any other user, it makes more sense these days to just glance at the top menu bar and figure out what messages, email, missed call or other alerts one has received. The badge (red number counter) on app icons just doesn't cut it.